The hive has been in place one week and so far things seem to be going smoothly. Initially I wasn’t so sure; the weather was very wet and cold and there were very few bees entering and leaving the hive. As well, there was a huge pile of dead bees right outside the hive, and I was concerned that there had been a beeicide. Every day I ran out to the back of the yard to check things out, and there wasn’t very much bee action.
By Friday the rain stopped, the sun came out and so did the bees. The bees have established their flight path which goes out the front of the hive (to the south), then takes a sharp turn to the east and then up. If you approach the hive from the house, you will be surrounded by bees coming and going. Of course, it took me a few days to figure out that when I was watching the hive (or taking the picture above) that I was interrupting the flight paths of hundreds. Happily, I did not get stung.
The response to the bees has been mixed in our house. The Man spent a lot of time watching the hive this week and the resident Compost Expert (child #1) did a lot of weeding near the hive and then asked if we were planning to get our own bee suit, eventually. The non-bee lover is protesting the arrival of the hive by not stepping into the back yard.
The good: This has been a week of kale, chard, lettuce, spinach and arugula. All the winter kale is now gone and last years chard is bolting and going to seed. The lettuce is doing well, but reaching the end of it’s life, so I planted more a few weeks ago and again this weekend. The arugula is a new kind, which grows close to the ground and has a LOT of leaves per plant. The over-wintered spinach did really well but is now starting to bolt. Fennel is coming up and the potatoes are taking off. The first of the fava beans are making pods, but are still small and soft. Beans are all coming up.
The bad: something ate most of the carrots. Boo.
The ugly: the tomatoes are not growing and I have given up hope. Likely the beans will overgrow them and take up all the sun.